New pie shop to take place of old Nati's

Plan for O.B. mainstay Mexican restaurant is more than a remodel

Nati's has operated on the corner of Bacon and Niagara for 57 years.
  • Nati's has operated on the corner of Bacon and Niagara for 57 years.

In December it was announced that Nati’s Mexican Restaurant in Ocean Beach was sold and would close for renovations and remodeling.

On December 13th, Nati’s co-owner Dennis Kerr issued a press release, saying, "It is our understanding that the business will closed for about a month for some much-needed renovation and updating. Thereafter the refreshed Nati’s will reopen with the original staff and serve the consistent, Sinaloan Style Mexican food that has made it a local’s favorite for the past nearly 60 years.”

“Would love to know who bought it, as my business is in one of the buildings,” said Amber Hazewski of SAANS Lena Studio, one of the three businesses at 5032 Niagara Avenue included in the Nati’s property sale.

Alcohol license permit transfer

Alcohol license permit transfer

“So far Nati’s hasn't told us anything,” said Hazewski. “There are three businesses in the building and we're all just hanging out waiting to find out what's happening to us.” The Current Collective and the Nest Coffee & Tea are the other two businesses on a month-to-month lease.

On January 18th, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posted a Public Notice of Application on a Nati’s restaurant window, indicating “Change in Stock Ownership.”

The ABC licensing consultant listed on the notice, Heidi Roji from G.R. Bill Consulting, said she had no comment, “as nothing has been finalized yet." She did say the application process can take from 30 to 90 days, but “that’s just a guideline.”

SQFT's address

SQFT's address

A search of San Diego public records indicates that the “Notice of Intended Transfer of Alcoholic Beverage License” was filed by Nati’s owners Kerr and Marilyn Thomas to the “grantee” of the license: SQFT Investments, LLC.

Public records indicate Michael Donovan has been the principal of SQFT Investments, LLC, since September 13, 2016; Donovan is also listed as the owner of SDPB Holdings, LLC, which shares the same address on Cass Street in Pacific Beach as SQFT Investments, LLC.

SDPB Holdings is listed as owner of the same Adams Avenue address given for SQFT, LLC

SDPB Holdings is listed as owner of the same Adams Avenue address given for SQFT, LLC

SDPB and Donovan were the subject of a Reader cover story last summer detailing the developer’s conflicts with neighbors and the city as he executed a project in Mission Hills.

Besides news that Nati’s ownership is being granted to a developer who frustrated Mission Hills residents, the restaurant’s days as a Mexican comfort-food haven are numbered. Following a tip from a reliable source, I confirmed that Pop Pie Co. will occupy the restaurant space, pending the signing of a lease.

The eatery’s first location in University Heights opened on October 8th, 2016, serving sweet and savory pies (including breakfast pies). Owners Gan Suebsarakham and Steven Torres said they were “very excited” to come to O.B. but had no comment.

Offering some assurance that they'll blend in with the new locale, the restaurateurs state on their website that "being good neighbors for our San Diego community" is what they're about (besides their "signature all-butter crust").

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I would like every one to know I spoke with owner / manager Marilyn today. She told me DO NOT BELIEVE THE READER STORY. She said the Reader writer was mad that the sales broker would not talk to her about the sale DUE TO CONFIDENTIALITY. The busybody writer DEMANDED he give her the story and pestered the man with texts and calls. Hearing this, Marilyn the owner decided to NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS PUSHY WRITER (& the horrible Reader) & gave the Nati’s update to the Peninsula Beacon. Here it is: http://www.sdnews.com/view/full_story/27520703/article-Long-time-Ocean-Beach-Mexican-restaurant–Nati-s–sold? This is the true story. Nati's management is furious about this because the new ownership has not said ONE WORD TO THEM ABOUT OPENING A PIE SHOP. In the meantime, Nati's has incurred the wrath of their devoted flock of food lovers over the erroneous Reader story and the threats of the unprofessional "writer" to make something up if no one would "give her the story." The inaccuracies have created all kinds of drama for the eatery and upset many of the hard-working, longtime employees.

The Reader should call off their hounds and teach their "writers" to STOP WRITING FAKE NEWS STORIES. While they are at it, maybe ditch some of the fake writers (from TJ) too.


by amp3355

For the record, the article you point to is a regurgitation of the press release written by the realtor. Regurgitations of press releases are not journalism.

As the author of this article, your allegations are completely false. If you are accusing me of being pushy or having sent text messages to the broker-that is pure slander. I obtained my information and confirmed it with the owners of the ‘pie shop’. Sorry if Nati’s lied to anyone, or maybe its as simple as they didn’t know about the new plans. Either way, I stand by my article and its accuracy 100%.

For the record, the article in the Peninsula Beacon was okayed by Nati's managers & owners as their response to the inquiries about the sale of the restaurant. Whether it is "journalism" is something to take up with the Beacon. While we are on the subject of "regurgitations," perhaps Ms. Stalmer would like to explain why she (a talented writer and not a hack) slums to labor, herself, for such a questionable publication? Surely she is aware of the fake news, Nextdoor rewrites as "stories," and mindless copying of north county crime logs as legitimate "neighborhood news." She, no doubt, must have some reservations about her continued acquiescence to the shoddy standards of journalism employed by the Reader and it's worthless, abusive editor. Or perhaps Ms. Stamer has learned, like the rest of the freelancers there, that brown-nosing & fraudulence are the keys to the Reader job kingdom?

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